Community comes together to help those in need

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

By Chaplain Billy Holland with the Jessamine County Fire District 

The annual distribution of food boxes to the needy was accomplished this year thanks to all who donated, along with the many dedicated volunteers who rolled up their sleeves for a good cause.

I helped organize the outreach this year that handed out large boxes of food and turkeys to over 400 Jessamine County families. Within the Thanksgiving and Christmas applications, there were 80 deliveries to the elderly, disabled and those who have no transportation.

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Volunteers were eager to load their vehicles and deliver the food as a way to express their compassion and concern.

The Gideon Society was also present for those who wanted a free Bible and at the end of the day, it was apparent that everyone received a wonderful blessing. This was my first year to oversee the event, and I just wanted to do everything possible to help this outreach continue to be a success.

Many thanks to former coordinators Tonya Northrup, Dennis King, Chief Rupard and his wife Natalie that have done such an awesome job in the past and worked hard to establish a high standard of quality and excellence.

The Revive House — a local ministry that helps individuals conquer substance abuse — graciously volunteered and did an outstanding job with the heavy lifting, sorting and distribution.

My two sisters and niece formed a team that came up with a simple system. They really enjoyed the opportunity to work together for such a great cause and encourage other families to reach out and get involved in the many different ministries and organizations here in our county. businesses like Hardee’s, along with individuals representing the Salvation Army and the Hayden Company, also played major roles with transporting the food from Kroger to the fire department and helping with the entire process.

A special thanks to the owners of Ideal Tool, Scott and Jenny Johns, who have participated the last five years and provided much of the financial support this season.

And of course to the Jessamine County Fire District that provided the facility, and Assistant Chief Gerald Wheeler, who coordinated the firefighters who contributed help with everything from relaying phone messages and moving trucks in and out to sorting and delivering the boxes. 

Volunteers from Lockmasters and the Creative Art League’s KCAL Old Time Radio drama troupe were also a huge part of this unified community effort. The old saying that it takes a village is true, and we can definitely accomplish much when we pool our energy and resources together.

There is much need all around us, and this is not the only time of year to donate money or sponsor food drives at work. Places like the homeless shelter, the local food pantry and the Salvation Army just to name a few, struggle to meet the daily needs of the community.

I realize we are to reach out to help those suffering around the world, but at the same time we can also make a huge difference right here in our own hometown.

I hope that corporations, small businesses and volunteers will plan now for next year, and together we can continue and even enlarge the vision to help those who are having a difficult time

The County Fire District has a special fund for this annual food ministry, and will receive donations anytime throughout the year.

Yes, there are problems and situations we cannot fix, but making sure the elderly, disabled individuals and every child have a good meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas is something all of us can do.